Mike has been involved in coordinating the UBS Games on behalf of the Finance department for over six years. He was pivotal in the success of the very first Finance flagship Festival and in the coordination of the programme and volunteers internally at UBS.
We spoke to him recently to ask him about his experience, highlights and key insights in terms of what it’s like to volunteer within a large corporation and collaborate with a charity effectively, in a way that creates not only sustainable impact for the community but is also highly rewarding for staff volunteers and meets internal CSR objectives.
Over to Mike:
SI: When you were getting started and launching the UBS Games, what was the most critical factor to its set up and success?
Mike: It was really important that the first flagship event went well and so from the outset, it was crucial to get engagement and buy-in from our department’s senior leadership. With their backing and support, we were able to get a large roster of volunteers for the first programme and from there, continued leadership support and their own involvement in volunteering has been fundamental to the long-term success of the partnership.
“Engagement and buy-in from senior leadership is so important.”
As well as supporting from the office staff, we’ve noticed that it’s been really inspiring for senior leaders to volunteer and get stuck in. A particular highlight of mine was seeing our UK and IB CFO Nigel Bretton lead a street dance class!
Furthermore, internally there has been a lot of celebration and recognition for the programme in terms of the awards we’ve won, and we even had a a waitlist of people wanting to take part in the last event. People want to be involved in a success story.
SI: What have been some of your personal highlights?
Mike: Playing sports has always been really important for me and so it’s great to be able to give back and see the kids getting involved in sports they may not have tried before.
It’s also really humbling taking time out of my usual schedule to talk to children and learn about their experience. It makes you think – how can we do more? How can we expand our impact in terms of mental health, how do we leave a legacy?
SI: Thank you Mike. One final question! If you had to sum up your experience of volunteering with SportInspired, what would it be?
Mike: A sense of pride, a sense of achievement and most of all – humble.